by Oleg Oprisco
Alex Suskind brilliantly profiles Cowboy Bebop at The Atlantic.
“On paper, Cowboy Bebop, the legendary cult anime series from Shinichirō Watanabe, reads like something John Wayne, Elmore Leonard, and Philip K. Dick came up with during a wild, all-night whiskey bender. (As Wayne famously said, “Talk low, talk slow, and … I’m not drunk you’re drunk Elmore why’s the room spinning?”)
Set in 2071, Bebop imagines a dystopian future where earth has been irrevocably damaged due to the creation of a “stargate,” forcing humans to evacuate the planet and create colonies across the solar system. The result is a galaxy of lawlessness, where crime lords rule and cops pay bounty hunters (often referred to as cowboys) to handle some of the grunt work. People drink in dive bars. Income inequality is terrible. Everyone speaks like they’re background extras in Chinatown. The show ultimately features so many cross-ranging influences and nods to other famous works it’s almost impossible to keep track. It’s Sergio Leone in a spacesuit. It’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with automatic weapons.”
You can vote now for the next Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula! Nominees were publicly chosen and are being publicly voted for on the Great Lakes of Commonwealth Letters website.
Nominees are (sample poems linked): Marty Achatz, Elinor Benedict, Eric Gadzinski, Kathleen Heideman, Jonathon Johnson, Beverly Matherne, Janeen Rastall, Ron Riekki, Jillena Rose, Andrea Scarpino, and my talented friend Saara Myrene Raapana.
You can vote for anyone, but for the record, you should vote for Saara.
Star by Roman Kargapalov
“We have a natural tendency to assume that a remarkable chemistry between two souls is confirmation that they are meant to be together. In the heat of profound feelings, it seems counter-intuitive to imagine ourselves separate from our beloved. But chemistry and longevity are not natural bedfellows. Just because we feel earth-shatteringly alive with someone doesn’t mean they are supposed to be our …life partner. They may have come for a very different reason – to awaken us, to expand us, to shatter us so wide open that we can never close again. Perhaps they were sent from afar to polish the rough diamond of your soul before vanishing into eternity. Perhaps they just came to give you new eyes. Better we surrender our expectations when the beloved comes. (S)he may just be dropping in for a visit.”
— Jeff Brown
The week’s first paper after Mark Strand died.
He wrote, To close one’s eyes is to see the giant
World that is born each time the eyes are closed.
The almost All that is there, without yourself.
The almost Nothing — the I — that strains to see it.
It’s not despair, it’s the comfort of the dark.
Here in the mortal paper, Hong Kong police
Have “thrust into” the pro-democracy camp.
An 18-year-old repairing a barricade says,
“I think the government will ignore us again.”
In the U.S. House the Speaker implies the same.
Getting to work: a variant of despair.
In Sports, before the Rams game, five black players
Stood with hands raised above their heads, a gesture
That “has become a symbol of this case” —
The case of 18-year-old Michael Brown,
Unarmed, shot dead by a white cop who resigned.
We close our eyes to remember, or reach a note.
Eyes closed to think open again on Business:
Here, in “The Media Equation,” the paper
Itself considers the offices going dark:
Cutbacks, layoffs, buyouts. At another paper,
Reporters asked to deliver the paper paper —
The fading pulp-gray iris I scorn and crave.
-Robert Pinsky, New York Times
Pinocchio is a currently-airing Korean drama starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk.
Ha-myung (Lee Jong Suk) has a photographic memory (he has to see something only once in order to remember it) and a happy family – his father is a firefighter captain, his mother a loving parent, and his brother shares his gift. One day, however, his father leads his squad into a terrible factory explosion, and when it’s over, most of the squad is dead and Ha-myung’s father has disappeared. The media, grasping hold of the story, sensationalize it as an irresponsible captain killing his squad and then disappearing out of fear, and Ha-myung and his family become nationally despised.
Ha-myung’s mother decides to kill herself and jumps with him into the sea, but Ha-myung is rescued, miles away, by the kindly, elderly Gong-pil. Gong-pil, who has a few screws loose, decides that Ha-myung is his oldest, long-dead son Dal-po, and adopts him. Ha-myung gladly accepts the identity, and is raised alongside Gong-pil’s other son Dal-pyung and his daughter In-ha (Park Shin Hye). The two grow up together and ultimately enter the world of journalism as newbie reporters.
I can’t say enough about how deeply lovable Pinocchio is. I had a good feeling from the first episode, when it started out quick and charming and assured…